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    Everything is riddled with calories, and that includes bourbon. While it's important to note that our bodies metabolize alcohol in a different way than, say a cheeseburger, it's still a good idea to keep an eye on the rough count. So how many calories do our beloved bourbon-y beverages have? 

    Let me shake it out for you. According to Francis Lictenberger from, "The calories in whiskey come from the alcohol. Whether the alcohol is produced by making bourbon, Scotch, or rye, it always has 7 calories per gram." It has nothing to do with brand, cost, or bad reviews. The amount of alcohol in a bourbon depends on the proof. Old Forester Signature is 100 proof which means it has 50% pure alcohol. Because the alcohol content is high, it also means the calories are too. A 1.5 ounce pour (a shot) contains about 124 calories, but "most bourbon is around 80 proof and a typical shot contains around 97 calories," according to Lictenberger. Just remember the higher the proof, the higher the calories. 

    For most bourbon drinkers calories are of little concern, but for those of us with a bone for curiosity here are five classic bourbon cocktails and how many calories you’re drinking in each. Keep in mind calorie counts for these cocktails will vary depending on your bourbon and bartender. 

    1. Old Fashioned: 129 calories 


    Image: shutterstock/Yulia Grigoryeva
    Ah, the all-time favorite for serious bourbon sippers. The classic cocktail popularized by TV’s famous Mad Man, Don Draper, contains 129 calories. Not too shabby if you’re only having one.

    Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Bourbon or Rye (108 Cal. Bulleit Rye), 1 Sugar Cube (9 Cal.), 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters (8 Cal.), Orange Peel (4 Cal.) 


    2. Mint Julep: 218


    Image: shutterstock/Brent Hofacker


    Derby’s famous cocktail. Out-of-towners love them. Locals? Well, they’ll drink them on Derby for good measure. This minty bourbon drink weighs in at 218 calories. 

    Ingredients: 2 oz. Bourbon (Larceny 180 Cal.), 2 tsp. Simple Syrup (34 Cal.), 8 Mint Leaves (4 Cal.), Crushed Ice


    3.Manhattan: 186


    Image: shutterstock/armano777

    It’s no surprise that this bourbon classic is one of the lightest. It only contains alcohol keeping the calorie count low and guilt free if you want to have more than just one, which is usually a given. 

    Ingredients: 2 oz. Rye Whiskey (138 Cal. Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey) , 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth (40 Cal. Martini & Rossi Rosso), 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters (8 Cal.)


    4. Whiskey Sour: 200


    Image: shutterstock/HandmadePictures

    The calorie count in this cocktail varies because there are variations in it’s preparations. Store bought sour mix ups the calorie count to nearly 250, but when concocted with bar syrup and fresh lemon juice the count goes down. If your bartender adds egg white for froth, also known as a Boston Sour, you’re looking at an extra 17 calories. 

    Ingredients: 2 oz. Whiskey (140 Cal. Maker's Mark), 1 tbsp. Simple Syrup (52 Cal.), 1 oz. Lemon Juice (8 Cal.)


    5. Boulevardier: 225


    Image: shutterstock/O.Bellini

    Pronounced “boulevard-yay “, this bourbon version of a Negroni is the real heavy hitter with more than 200 calories! Maybe the name isn’t the only reason this bourbon cocktail isn’t amongst the most frequently ordered. 

    Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Bourbon (105 Cal. Woodford Reserve), 1 oz. Campari (80 Cal.), 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth (40 Cal. Martini & Rossi Rosso)

    Cover images courtesy of Shutterstock userts: d100, RomanYa and ainahart from left to right.


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    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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